Thursday, January 23, 2014

Spin Dye Knit!

A few years ago I bought a beautiful Romney fleece to use in felting projects.  I washed it and rented a drum carder from the weavers guild and started to process it.  The fiber was so long that I really had a difficult time with the carder.  I finally gave most of it to Lisa Skillman of Troll Bridge Farm to process at a mill.  I ended up with two beautiful rolls of pencil roving.  Fast forward a couple of years and I finally learned how to spin.  I found a Kiwi wheel at the flea market for $45 and stared at it for a year or so then finally decided to take a class.  After some practice I spun up about 7or 8 hundred yards of that romney so that I could knit a sweater.    Here is a picture of the yarn after I scoured it for dyeing.  I couldn't believe how white it was after a soak in synthrapol.  It was quite gray before, probably oil from the mill.
I planned to dye it a celery green color, but it came out a lot darker than I planned.  I started with a gold dye and added some gunmetal, then black, then  brown. 
Anyway,  it looked about right here in the dyepot, that was before it was heated to 180 degrees and the vinegar was added.  It just kept getting darker, but the commitment was made.  I left it in the dye bath about 30 minutes, took it out, cooled and rinsed it.  The light in the basement is a bare bulb and it just doesn't give a true indication of  color.  It looked kind of mossy brown, but I could live with it.  When I brought it upstairs into the natural light it looked completely different.  It is such a lovely shade of green, sort of like freshly cooked mustard greens. 

I am going to knit myself a sweater.